LOADING HAITIAN RELIEF:
Friends of Chrissy’s from the “Conch Republic Navy” in Key West were organizing earthquake relief supplies to take to Haiti and were looking for willing boats capable of carrying the cargo. We volunteered to join the flotilla and loaded 4555lbs of food relief aboard at the “Western Union” dock on the schooner wharf.
Of the four boats to sail under the Conch Republic flag, all leaving from Key West (Conch Republic) and all headed to the same destination port on Ile de la Gonave; we were the first to load and subsequently first to set sail.
Other boats from an international organization called “Oceans Watch” took food and hospital supplies from different places in the U.S. and Caribbean to various ports in Haiti. This is a photo of the Westsail 42′ “Hiatus” who set sail from Key West the same day we did, and whom we traveled with as far as Georgetown in the Bahamas.
Georgetown, in the Bahamas is unique…. there are a lot of cruising boats from all over hanging out there for different reasons. While we were waiting for the other boats in the flotilla……
Kimberly and Bruce of “lost Marbles” (ex “nice n’ easy“) were waiting for mail and helping clean out an old houseboat full of treasures.
This was also the first time we met the cal 29′ “Dorothy ann“
we waited in George town for the other boats with cargo to arrive and then all left for Isle De La Gonave Haiti together. See my “Haitian Relief 2010” page for more photos and info on the project.
UNLOADING CARGO IN HAITI:
The village we went to on Isle de la Gonave had no safe place for us to enter the reef, or anchor, so the beautiful hand-built, engineless, electronicsless, expertly-sailed Haitian boats came out to meet us 2 miles offshore to unload the cargo. The three other C.R.N boats arrived first and were unloaded by this larger sloop. We were not there yet -these photos were pirated from other flotilla members “facebook”pages.
Arriving too late at night to approach the reef, we spent the night drifting off shore and came in to unload at dawn. The wind and chop made it too difficult for the bigger sailboat to get to us so we unloaded into smaller dugout canoues and fishing dorys.
FLOTILLA RENDEZ-VOUS IN JAMAICA:
While in Jamaica the crew of “En Caval” and I decided to take a biketrip up into the hills to some waterfalls. It was definitly a needed change of pace and a great way to see some of Jamaica further from the coast. I can only think of two justifiable reasons for such a big boat: carying cargo, and bringing my bikes!
CONTINUING TO MEXICO:
Once in New Orleans we decided to anchor out in Lake Pontchartrain. It was fun to be near the city and ride our bikes to town and the quarter. It was great to be able to invite friends out to the boat. Our chosen “anchorage”, however, was bad holding and mostly unprotected. It was stressful to be there and not as social as we would have hoped. Guests invited aboard were often seasick. It finally got old when one night Scout (the dighy) got stolen from under the bridge she was locked to. We (luckily) found her the next afternoon up at the other end of Bayou St John by the art museum. She was definitely worse for wear, having had the lock smashed through the bench, been dragged over at least one lock and probably capsized. but still the beloved Scout.